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What jobs can I do that will allow me to analyze and research sports and athlete stats?

i like sports and i like to be active all the time with anything that keeps my brain working and moving #sports #sports-management #athletics


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Jenna’s Answer

Hi Joseph,

The sports analytics world is very broad and continuously growing with new technology. MLB franchises have established data analytics divisions because baseball is deeply rooted in stats, like what Kathleen said about Moneyball. However, other professional sports are expanding their analytics teams, so constantly be on the look out for internships and research opportunities on LinkedIn or Teamwork.

Sports analytics jobs are not just limited to teams, you can also be a third-party consultant that specifies in the sports industry! If you don't have one particular sport you are passionate about, becoming an outside data analyst may be better for you because you can work on a variety of projects with different leagues and different teams.

To learn about the newest developments in data analytics, I recommend checking out the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. There are recordings of the presentations on Youtube. Conference speakers come from all aspects of the sports world: consulting companies, online ticketing companies, ESPN, professional leagues, teams, and ownership groups. Watching these videos are a good way to keep up to date on the latest technology and learn about different jobs and companies you may not have heard of before.

Most important of all, network! Networking with sports analysts will give you a better idea of what their responsibilities are. Knowing people in the industry will also help you when it's time to look for a job. The sports industry is as much about "who you know" as it is "what you know". You can start small by reaching out to sports people in your community. If your college has a sports program, talk to people there. Once you get to know someone, ask if they can refer you to someone else. That is how you can expand your network and continuously grow.

Hope that helps, good luck!

Jenna recommends the following next steps:

Check out the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

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Chelsea’s Answer

Nearly every industry is elevating the importance of data and research, sports included. There are opportunities to work for companies that provide the technology platforms leagues and teams use to analyze data. There are opportunities within sports agencies to lead data and analytics support for clients. At the PGA TOUR specifically, there are many roles that involve analyzing the data collected through our ShotLink Scoring Systems. ShotLink collects and disseminates scoring and statistical data on every shot by every player real-time. The information is used by players, their support staff and our media and broadcast partners.

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Nicole’s Answer

Hi Joseph,

Almost every sports organization has an extensive analytics team these days, whether it's on the player side of things, or on the business side, which could include things like projecting attendance or analyzing partnerships data. Most teams have internships available on the business side, which can be a great way to get your foot in the door and begin your sports analytics career.

There are also companies like STATS and Nielsen that provide data to teams which is another way of getting involved in sports analytics. I would begin looking into these companies as well, and networking and reaching out to different organizations on Linkedin for advice. Particularly on the business side of sports, there are tons of opportunities for people with analytics backgrounds.

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Kathleen’s Answer

Hey Joseph, thats a great question! There is a big field of work in statistical analysis of sports data. From what I have seen and heard about, degrees in applied mathematics, particularly statistics, are very well aligned with the skills that teams want. Having proficiency with computer coding/computer science is also helpful as most statistics are now done computationally. Machine learning can help improve the analysis as well so looking at degrees that focus on this would be helpful in landing the job! Some fun books to read if you are interested in sports stats would be Moneyball (also now a movie!) and Soccernomics.

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